Meet David 'Calamity' James: Ex-England goalie, Armani model, & now Kerala coach

A look at the life of David James, who has been on your screens during Russia 2018.

FIFA 2018
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He kept goal for England in the World Cup and modelled for Armani. And just four years ago, he went broke.
David James once ate a Kerala sadhya with Sachin Tendulkar on a banana leaf. But a few months before that, he slipped on the banana skin of bankruptcy.

The former England goalkeeper is a familiar face for Indian football lovers. He is the coach of the Kerala team in the Indian Super League. And recently, he appeared in millions of homes as a World Cup expert. James, closing in on 48, seems on steadier ground now, thanks to coaching assignments and media work. But in 2014, he filed for bankruptcy. He sold off many of his possessions — which included football memorabilia and a rich athlete’s toys such as a turntable and around 1,800 vinyl records.

Calamity James to Mr Dependable

Preceding his astonishing financial plunge, James earned almost 20 million pounds from football and its attendant opportunities. He played 53 times for England. In club football, he had lucrative tenures at Liverpool, Manchester City and Portsmouth, among other sides. And along the way he modelled for Armani and H&M.
Untitled-20
David James (left) with former coach Trever Morgan.

At the start of his career, James’s performance did not always match up to his potential. He was a part of a group of Liverpool players labelled Spice Boys for their party lifestyle. He was also given a title for himself — Calamity James — because he made a lot of errors. James blamed his lapses of concentration on his habit of playing too many computer games. Introspection and the study of sports psychology helped James grow into one of England’s respected goalkeepers. For a time, he held the record for the most number of clean sheets in the Premier League — 169. He played a vital role for Portsmouth when they won the FA Cup in 2008. Two years later, he was in goal for England at the World Cup in South Africa.

Divorce and extravagance
It seemed unconceivable that such a player would be crushed under debt just a few years on. A large part of his fortune is believed to have been consumed by a costly divorce and lavish spending.
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Stan Collymore, James’s controversial teammate at Liverpool, wrote in his autobiography, “If he [James] had a new car and he pranged it, he would just go and buy a new car — so there were five cars parked in the drive. If he bought a new pair of shoes and he scuffed them, he wouldn’t clean them. He would just chuck them in the spare room and buy a new pair. Too much disposable income, I suppose. Too easy just to bin stuff. Too easy to spend money like you are going to be earning that kind of money for the rest of your life.”

Ambanis, Bachchans, Jack Ma Catch The World Cup Live In Russia
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The who's who of the world flocked to Russia to catch the action at the World Cup. From the Ambanis (Mukesh, Nita, and Anant) to the Bachchans (Amitabh and Abhishek), B-town and India Inc jet set to the country to cheer for their favourite team.

In Pic: Abhishek Bachchan with Nita Ambani (L), Vita Dani with Jack Ma (R).

The who's who of the world flocked to Russia to catch the action at the World Cup. From the Ambanis (Mukesh, Nita, and Anant) to the Bachchans (Amitabh and Abhishek), B-town and India Inc jet set to ..
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Mukesh Ambani was spotted in the stands with Amitabh Bachchan watching the semi-finals.

(Videograb: Instagram)
Mukesh Ambani was spotted in the stands with Amitabh Bachchan watching the semi-finals. (Videograb: Instagram)
JSW Group’s Jindal family made the World Cup a family outing. Parth Jindal shared a picture with father Sajjan, mother Sangita and wife Anushree on social media.
JSW Group’s Jindal family made the World Cup a family outing. Parth Jindal shared a picture with father Sajjan, mother Sangita and wife Anushree on social media.
Father-son duo, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, watched the World Cup semi-final match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russia.

Junior Bachchan is a well-known football enthusiast and even owns a club in an Indian League.

(Image: Instagram/AbhishekBachchan)
Father-son duo, Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, watched the World Cup semi-final match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russia. Junior Bachchan is a well-known football e..
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The Puri family marked its presence in Russia. Daughter Amrita shared a picture with father, HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri, and mother Anita on social media.
The Puri family marked its presence in Russia. Daughter Amrita shared a picture with father, HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri, and mother Anita on social media.
Junior Bachchan was spotted taking a selfie with Nita Ambani at the game. Ambani was in Russia for the FIFA World Cup with husband Mukesh and son Anant.

(Image: Instagram)
Junior Bachchan was spotted taking a selfie with Nita Ambani at the game. Ambani was in Russia for the FIFA World Cup with husband Mukesh and son Anant. (Image: Instagram)
Vita Dani, chairperson, 11Even Sports, struck gold, when she met Alibaba’s Jack Ma during the semifinals between England and Croatia on Wednesday.

(Image: Instagram/VitaDani)
Vita Dani, chairperson, 11Even Sports, struck gold, when she met Alibaba’s Jack Ma during the semifinals between England and Croatia on Wednesday. (Image: Instagram/VitaDani)
Vita Dani, an avid football fan and the co-owner of football club Chennaiyin FC was accompanied by husband Jalaj Ashwin Dani as they watched France deafeat Belgium in Russia.

(Image: Instagram/VitaDani)
Vita Dani, an avid football fan and the co-owner of football club Chennaiyin FC was accompanied by husband Jalaj Ashwin Dani as they watched France deafeat Belgium in Russia. (Image: Instagram/VitaD..
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Chennaiyin FC co-owners and football fans Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani took out time in the middle of the game between England and Croatia to take a selfie.

(Image: Instagram/VitaDani)

Chennaiyin FC co-owners and football fans Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani took out time in the middle of the game between England and Croatia to take a selfie.(Image: Instagram/VitaDani)
'Drishyam' actress Shriya Saran was in husband Andrei Koscheev's homeland for the World Cup. Saran posted pictures from the Belgium vs France match. The actress tied the knot with Koscheev, a national-level tennis player and entrepreneur, in March this year.
'Drishyam' actress Shriya Saran was in husband Andrei Koscheev's homeland for the World Cup. Saran posted pictures from the Belgium vs France match. The actress tied the knot with Koscheev, a nationa..
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Picking up the pieces
James has not said much about his bankruptcy. What is beyond doubt is that he busied himself in the task of rebuilding his life. He took on coaching and television analysis work. James’s reputation of being down to earth and sensitive to causes meant that whatever his bank balance, his goodwill was intact. James has done charity work in Malawi and donated his earnings as a columnist to causes. He also auctioned one of his better known paintings for the Bobby Moore cancer research fund, in the memory of England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain. It showed Moore receiving the World Cup trophy from the queen. “I’m not claiming to be Picasso but I am extremely fond of this painting because it captures the biggest moment in English football’s history,” James said about his work.

It is possible that Kerala, Kane or his experience of penury will be his inspirations for forthcoming projects.
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Harry Kane: England's Star Footballer Who Earns £200,000 A Week
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Away from the football field, Kane is father to a little girl, Ivy, from his fiancee Kate Goodland. The English captain is set to become daddy again. Goodland, who hasn't travelled to Russia due to her pregnancy, has been showing her support for Kane and the team on Instagram.


(Image: Instagram/kategoodersxx)

Away from the football field, Kane is father to a little girl, Ivy, from his fiancee Kate Goodland. The English captain is set to become daddy again. Goodland, who hasn't travelled to Russia due to h..
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